The fuddy-duddy rings his silver bell and waits; after a few moments, his sister comes to the doorway and looks at him with dead eyes.
FD: Oh, I’m sorry: I see you’ve been watching the news.
Sister: Yes, as a matter of fact, I was; how can you tell?
FD: Just years of caring deeply for you, my dear—
His sister laughs.
FD: You have dead eyes.
Sister: That’s more like it.
FD: Don’t get violent! Remember, I pay all the bills with my day job while you—what is it that you do? Knit?
Sister: You rang your bell?
FD: Yes, yes, I suppose I did.
FD: I was just sitting here next the fire and dreaming a little dream about hobbits—you know.
Sister: Hobbits? What’s a hobbit!
FD: Haha, that’s funny! Oh, that’s funny because that’s how it all starts! The whole magical world starts with a simple little “What is a hobbit?”
Sister: If you don’t mind, I’d like to go back to knitting next to the television.
FD: “I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us.” Haha!
Sister: Okay? Okay, then? A spot of tea at three this afternoon, then? See you, then?
FD: Wait, wait, don’t go just yet; I have an important question.
FD: It concerns hobbits, which you know nothing about, so I guess your opinion will be worthless to me, but I, well, to be frank, I–
Sister: I’m your only friend?
FD: I was going to say that I’m not on speaking terms with the other members of my weekly book club.
Sister: Isn’t that what I said?
FD: Let’s put all that aside and focus on the hobbits, shall we: what does a hobbit call breakfast at night? A late breakfast?
Sister: What do you mean breakfast at night?
FD: Imagine your usual breakfast.
FD: Now, imagine you are eating it at night. What would you call that breakfast?
Sister: Why would I eat breakfast at night?
FD: Imagine you are the kind of creature who—
Sister: Don’t you dare call me creature!
FD: Imagine you are the kind of person who loves breakfast so much that she eats a first breakfast, a second breakfast, an elevenses, noon luncheon, snack, and tea. Add to this a sudden desire for a late-late breakfast at twilight between supper and dinner.
Sister: How about a midnight snack? If there a pantry raid at night?
FD: Pantry raid, yes. The pantry raid is some hours after dinner and some hours before dawn.
Sister: I suppose that late-late breakfast would work well as a term.
FD: Thank you! Thank you! You don’t know how much this has helped me.
Sister: Helped you do what? What are you doing?
FD: I’m writing a novel!
Sister: How many pages do you have?
FD: I’m going to start next month; I’m doing some preliminary story building this month.
Sister: Aren’t you story building five or six other novels?